Listening to the radio recently I heard an interesting discussion about debt collectors, and how many of these companies seem to be getting out of control.For anyone in the position today with any kind of debt,it is important to know that as a consumer you do have rights. The Federal Trade Commission does have guideline that collection companies need to follow, also many states have their own rules regarding fair treatment and how long a company can go after you for a debt.
With so many people still out of work, losing their homes, cars it isn’t surprising that more people are struggling with debt today. “Eighty-eight million accounts and credit lines, representing $751 billion in credit, have been closed since September of 2008.”(source:www.cardtrak.com, September 2009)
Debt is a reality we all live with and deal with, it is a growing problem that isn’t going away. The average person carries almost $10,000 in debt and it isn't getting any easier. What can you do if a collection company is harassing you, first tell them to stop calling you and contact you only through mail. That is your right. Secondly if you have a question about the validity of a debt it is up to them to prove that it’s yours, so go ahead and call them on it. Many of these companies buy the debt, and assume that it’s real. When you call them on it sometimes they will back off because it isn’t worth it for them to do the research.
I spent a several years doing medical collections and I can tell you that when these companies purchase these debts it's a blanket list. They don't care if you really don't owe, they are looking for a quick in and out and have no problem using intimidation to try to get the money from you. Another problem is many of these companies are now trying to report old debts over ten to fifteen years old to the credit bureaus as a new debt. That is not legal. You can dispute it, and the credit bureau is obligated to research it for you.
There are more people struggling today then are not our government keeps flapping their gums insisting that things are getting better but are they?
If you are not struggling you're in a 4% minority because according to statistics over 50% of all Americans say they are struggling and living paycheck to paycheck.
I know everyone makes fun of the 99% but the truth is most of us really are the 99%, we aren’t looking for a scapegoat, or to walk away from our problems. Most people just want to work, and live a decent life with their families.
I worry for all of us, and our tomorrows, if things are this hard now for most of us what will they be like tomorrow for our kids and grandkids.